The Underlying Ideals
There are various kinds of stereotypes, but some are more common and well known than others. The article “The Future of the Gender Bend,” by the New York Times, states that many women today cling onto the supposedly feminine value of caring for others, such as being a stay-at-home mother. This is one of the basic ideals for how a woman “should” behave, but is still considered “too feminine” for a man. The article also mentions how in the U.S., computer science and engineering are considered as male territory. These are a few of the basic stereotypes among the two genders. They mostly revolve around men having careers in science, engineering, technology and math (STEM), while having women not really working in these areas, but rather staying at home to take care of their kids. And while all of these ideals and expectations may seem like harmless ideas, they do have a crippling effect. All stereotypes have been, and still are influencing both genders and how they really think.
Early Age Affects
More often than not, ideals and stereotypes are affecting education around the US. The American Educational Research Association (AERA) recently released a report on the gender gap starting all the way back in kindergarten. It also discovered that teachers foresee boys to be more resilient in math than girls. Two groups, composed of thousands of students from 1998-1999 and 2010-2011 were in the study. From these groups, students took tests that found the math skills of students. Teachers were also interviewed on how well the students were doing in 10 individual fields. All of this research came from a federal government study. What they found is that over the span of 12 years, the gender gap still remains in the classroom.
Jumbled and Skewed Expectations
Not only do these stereotypes have an effect in school; they continue to have an impact past college and in careers. A charity, Young Enterprise, released a report - Youth Employment: a Gender Divide - which looks at how in secondary education the growing gender gap eventually leads to the workspace. In this report they included a survey, which yielded surprising results. The survey data has been related to business confidence, says the charity. In fact, there is a big gap between pay expectations in first jobs among boys and girls. Input from the survey found that the bulk of girls - 71 percent - anticipate to obtain less than $25,000 annually from their first job. On the other hand, only 52 percent of boys believed the same idea. The survey continues, revealing how 28 percent of boys expect to make more than $31,000 annually, while how only a sparse 13 percent of girls think they will to make over $31,000 each year in their first job. Girls also relayed how gender stereotypes lower their confidence in taking leadership roles, a quarter of them commenting that the domination of classroom discussion mostly goes to boys. Gender ideals isn’t some minor topic that has no major effect. Instead, it lasts through all ages.